Paris Club creditor countries generally meet each month (in principle, except in February and August) in Paris. Each monthly session includes a one-day meeting called a “Tour d’Horizon” during which Paris Club creditors discuss among themselves the external debt situation of debtor countries, or methodological issues regarding the debt of developing countries.
The session may also include negotiation meetings with one or more debtor countries that have met all conditions for a negotiation.
A debtor country is invited to a negotiation meeting with its Paris Club creditors when it has concluded an appropriate programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that demonstrates that the country is not able to meet its external debt obligations and thus needs a new payment arrangement with its external creditors (conditionality principle). Paris Club creditors link the debt restructuring to the IMF programme because the economic policy reforms are intended to restore a sound macroeconomic framework that will lower the probability of future financial difficulties.
The twenty permanent members of the Paris Club may participate in the negotiation meetings, as participating creditors if they have claims towards the invited debtor country, as observers if not.
Other official bilateral creditors may be invited to attend negotiation meetings on an ad-hoc basis, subject to the agreement of permanent members and of the debtor country.
Representatives of international institutions, notably the IMF, the World Bank and the relevant regional development bank also attend the meeting as observers.
The debtor country is usually represented by the Minister of Finance. He generally heads a delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.